Shen man arrested after attempt to flee from police
SHENANDOAH — A borough man is free on bail after being arrested by Shenandoah police stemming from an incident that began Saturday in the 200 block of West Washington Street.
Patrolman David Stamets charged Paul Daniel Ogonek, 66, of 140 N. Union St., with fleeing or attempting to elude police, DUI, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, violating restrictions on alcoholic beverages, and stop and yield sign violations.
Stamets said that Ogonek was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge David A. Plachko, Port Carbon. Although Ogonek was committed to Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of 10 percent of $10,000 bail, he has since posted bond and been released.
The incident unfolded around 7:50 p.m. when he and Patrolman William Moyer were called to the 200 block of West Washington Street for a report of an assault and learned that the caller said the victim was lying in the street, according to Stamets.
Stamets said that, at the scene, officers saw a Jeep Wrangler stopped in the middle of the street.
Stamets said that when the emergency lights of the police vehicle were activated, the driver began to pull away and did not comply with verbal commands to stop.
With their lights and siren on, the officers followed the Jeep as the driver — later identified as Ogonek — drove east on East Washington Street, turned onto North Emerick Street failing to stop for a posted stop sign and then turned left onto East Penn Street.
Officers were able to stop Ogonek, Stamets said, by passing him but the man struck the rear of the police vehicle, causing damage to the right side of the bumper.
He said officers instructed Ogonek to get out of the car but he refused and it required substantial force to remove and handcuff him.
Stamets said an odor of alcohol and burnt marijuana was detected inside the vehicle and, in plain view, was a metal marijuana pipe on top of the dashboard and two cans of beer in the center console.
The officer said numerous empty beer cans were found behind the driver’s seat and an open case of beer inside as well as a clear bag containing marijuana in the center console.
Ogonek admitted to drinking alcohol and said he may have drunk too much but he denied smoking marijuana saying that his fiancee smoked the drug, Stamets said. The man added that his fiancee needs the marijuana for her medical conditions and that he bought it for her, Stamets said.
Stamets said that Ogonek was taken to a Pottsville Hospital where he agreed to a blood alcohol test.
Ogonek will now have to answer to the charges against him at a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker in his Shenandoah courtroom.
Meanwhile, Shenandoah Police Chief George Carado said that his department is investigating an assault in which Ogonek was the victim.
The chief said officers were starting an investigation into the reported assault when they received the call regarding the incident on West Washington Street and at that time had no idea that Ogonek was involved.
Carado said the investigation into the assault is ongoing and that Ogonek has not been able to identify those who allegedly assaulted him.